An aide to a national leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday said the APC chieftain did not attend the party caucus meeting because he had another event organised to mark his birthday.
Tunde Rahman, media aide to Mr. Tinubu, said there were no reasons to subject his absence at the caucus meeting to negative interpretations.
Speaking on Political Platform, a public affairs programme on RayPower FM Tuesday, Mr Rahman said Mr Tinubu was attending to a programme some young people put together to honour him on his birthday.
PREMIUM TIMES reported on Monday that Mr. Tinubu was conspicuously absent as President Muhammadu Buhari played host to a meeting of the national caucus of the party.
The meeting, which began at about 8:20 p.m. held inside the new Banquet Hall of the State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
There have been speculations on why the APC chieftain failed to attend the meeting.
“Yesterday, a group of younger ones put together a programme for him where they were talking about their impression of him as a leader, as a motivator,” Mr. Rahman said Tuesday.
He noted that it is that time of the year the APC chieftain marks his birthday and he needed to attend to many other concerns. The media aide also said Mr. Tinubu is making progress in the reconciliatory responsibilities handed him by Mr. Buhari.
He said “the assignment given to Asiwaju by President Muhammadu Buhari to lead the reconciliation and confidence building effort within the party is ongoing and he has gone so far in that assignment.”
On the caucus meeting, he said it was an advisory committee and his principal’s absence should not be seen as anything unusual.
“Don’t (also) forget that the caucus meeting he did not attend is an advisory body. The caucus is an advisory body,” he explained.
“So that he did not attend the caucus meeting should not be a thing that we will make a lot of noise about.”
The caucus meeting is preparatory to a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) which is holds at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, Tuesday.
A similar caucus meeting was held on February 26 where a decision was taken to extend the tenure of both the national and state officials. It is beleived that the decision did not go down well with Mr.Tinubu who had had a spat with the party chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun.
But on Tuesday, Mr. Buhari shocked members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party when he called for the cancellation of tenure extension for party officials.
Speaking shortly before the commencement of NEC meeting Tuesday, Mr Buhari told a packed hall at the APC national secretariat to consider cancelling the tenure extension decision because “it is against the party constitution and the Nigerian constitution.”
He therefore, presented the matter “for discussion” at the meeting.
At the end of the NEC meeting, the APC set up a committee to review the president’s request. The committee was given till Wednesday to submit its report.